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Old 05-07-2006, 02:01 PM   #1
OZYMANDIAS OP
RIP, Clayton...
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 33
Seattle to Argentina on a KLR650

Hello Friends-
Finally! Everything is coming together and it looks like Iíll be leaving today. My plan is to stay with a friend in Portland the first night and try to make Salt Lake City by the third. Then Iíll take a bit of time to see Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, visit a friend in Tucson, and cross the border at Nogales. Iíve now read a number of books on motorcycle travel in general and riding in Central and South America in particular, and I think I have a good leg up on things. Special thanks to Glen Heggstad and Gregory Frazier for writing their excellent and informative books.
All I can really report on now is what the preparation has been like, and there is no question that there was a great deal of work involved. At certain times it felt like a full-time job. Iím a novice rider, and have been pleasantly surprised by how much support Iíve received from the motorcycling community. You all have given me much valuable advice, and two new friends I made, Glen and Carl, have done a lot to help me get the bike properly upgraded- thanks guys.
The upgrades have been pretty extensive, but have already started to show their value. I never realized just how many things could be improved on a stock motorcycle. Glen, Carl, and I went off-roading a week ago, and I must have dumped the bike at least five times. With the improvements, the bike came out more or less unscathed, though I was a little beat up by the end of the day. It was a good learning experience, however, and I now have a better idea of my limits on the bike. My strategy on the trip is to play things very conservatively, for I havenít yet developed the skill to be pushing any limits.
For those of you who might someday be interested in doing some touring yourselves, I'm posting a list of the things I bought and their costs below. This doesn't include the cost of buying beer and pizza for the guys who helped me work on my bike! Iíll also keep track of my budget along the way. I project I should be able to average around $35 per day if Iím careful, but time will tell.
All the best to everyone, and Iíll write again soon. Here's my website again if anyone is interested:
http://www.houseofatreus.net
Clayton


$2950 2001 Kawasaki KLR650
$123.25 Bike Registration
$157.20 Sub-Frame Upgrade, Radiator Guard, Water Pump Guard
$20 Adventure Motorcycling Handbook
$24.97 CO2 Kit for Tires
$31 Spanish CDís
$16 Spanish Book
$12.79 Iron Zip Ties
$100 Motorcycle Safety Course
$82.85 Hand Guards Maier
$289.58 Immunizations, Bug Repellant
$1140 Pannier Boxes, Shift Lever, Skid Plate, Foot Pegs, Doohickey Upgrade Kit, Master Cylinder Guard, Clutch and Brake Levers, Chain Lube, Carburetor Vent Kit
$50.12 Low-Profile Oil Plug, Oil Cap and Wrench
$22.41 Thread Locker
$16.98 Fuses, Tie-Down Straps, Razor Knife, WD40
$250.20 Tent, Thermarest, Kayak Bag, Platypus
$262.01 Armored Textile Jacket
$25 Motorcycle Endorsement Fee
$27.15 Gloves
$11.71 Oil
$98.16 Liteguard, Speed Bleeders, Water Pump Seal, Oil Seal, Mirror Mount, Throttle Rocker, Quicksteel, Grips, Threebond
$58.58 Spanish Books / Motorcycle Books
$44.21 1 Gig Camera Memory Card
$16.55 Metric Wrenches, ľí Drive Ratchet, Allen Keys
$532.32 First Gear Riding Pants, Glove Liners, Gore-Tex Riding Gloves, Textile Motocross Gloves, Spare Fork Seals, Tire Patch Kit, Neck Warmer, Fog-Off, Stretch-n-Seal Tape, Wire Couplers, Oil Filter, Chain Breaker, Spoke Wrench, Spark Plug, Tire Levers, In-Line Fuel Filter, Spare Clutch Cable, Spare Throttle Cables, Spare Bulbs, Chain Lube, Grease, Metric Wrenches
$348 Velcro Straps, Tape, Tank Bag and Accessories, Motorcycling Books
$264.10 Corbin Seat, Mirror Vibration Dampeners
$25.97 130/90W H4 Halogen Bulb, Spare Fuel Filter
$20 Larger Kickstand Base
$52.29 Threadlocker, Snap Ring Pliers, Miscellaneous Hardware
$14.42 Small Vise Grips
$208.84 Progressive Fork Springs, High-Temperature Bulb Socket, Brake Saver, Bar Snake, Headlight Cutoff Switch, Fork Oil
$15 Spare Passport Photos
$10.87 Tire Pump
$5 Miscellaneous Hardware
$15 Toiletries / Medication
$21.76 International Driverís Permit, Brazil / Uruguay Driverís Permit
$180.39 Boots, Straps, Compass, Mosquito Net, Tent Pegs, Tent Repair Kit
$15 Parts for Tool Tube
$16.31 Rechargeable Batteries
$10.88 Alteration to Pants
$4.33 Hose Clamps
$13.03 Disposable Cameras
$36.49 Spare Face Shield, Mirror Eyeballs
$266.48 Spark Plugs, Spill-Proof Battery, Brake Bracket, Counter Sprocket Retaining Plate, Front and Rear Monster Tubes, Spare Countershaft Sprocket
$7907.20 Total


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Old 05-07-2006, 02:28 PM   #2
crossfit_rider
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Good luck on your adventure!!! I look forward to seeing pics and reading some updates. Be careful and try to keep the rubber side down.

Tony
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:54 PM   #3
Flyingavanti
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You will have a GREAT time........
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"I am in California, but my brain spends 90% of it's time in South America"

Over 27,000 miles in South America -- which is NOT enough!

Here is a link to the South American Ride Report...
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94531

Trip Index Page.... If you are interested in one spot in South America, you can click on this link http://www.ploung.com/south_america.htm and go directly to your point of interest.
www.Ploung.com
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:08 PM   #4
RetrogradE
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Cap City, Utah
Oddometer: 1,226
Slc?

Let me know if you need a place to stay in SLC.

Steven
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:26 PM   #5
VDG
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Location: Brazil
Oddometer: 1,340
Do you have plans to pass on Brazil?
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:51 PM   #6
freeflow
get in or go in
 
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: GB-Wisconsin
Oddometer: 15,208
have a safe trip....write often...and alot of pics

the bike is dialed up for sure



EDIT: 9/18/2008 ! ATTENTION N00B READERS!!!!!!!!!!!. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE THREAD BEFORE POSTING.

freeflow screwed with this post 09-30-2008 at 05:32 AM
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:12 PM   #7
seadirt
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Joined: Mar 2006
Oddometer: 5
R1200gs

I have recently purchased a GS, & am all smiles. I opted for the low seat because of my inseam,but am still not satisfied. I do like the seat height for off roading, but on long hyway trips am uncomfortable (all my garmets gather up in my crouch). Does anyone have any suggestions on aftermarket, or custom seats?? I love your site, have been following Dale & Sandys travels in SA, met them in Chile.

Steve
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:45 AM   #8
OZYMANDIAS OP
RIP, Clayton...
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 33
Las Vegas!

Hi Everyone-
I'm in Las Vegas, and before you ask, yes, the showgirls are of course all over me. What woman can resist a smelly, dirty guy of the mean-looking bike? Things have been going well so far. I have met people who have been very friendly and generous to me- one guy, Jason, gave me $50 toward the trip. I stayed at a hotel one night, and camped another two. I saw Bryce and Zion, and both were awesome. Zion was wonderful to ride through- you go right through the bottom of a canyon, with amazing rock formations rising on all sides. Also, about the first 50 miles of I-15 on the way to Vegas is cool as hell. I rode it wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, sneakers, and sunglasses, and it was then, going about 80 with the landscape stretching out around me and bugs crack-popping all over my body, that I for the first time really felt like an adventurer. I'm here at a friend's to replace my chain and sprockets, something I should have done before I left as it is the original chain with 11,000 miles on it. Then it is to check out the Hoover Dam, to Phoenix, Tucson, Tombstone, and then Viva Mexico! I'm keeping detailed notes and will put it all together when I get back. Maybe it will turn into a book. I still haven't figured out the picture thing, but hope to soon. Adios for now, amigos. Clayton
P.S. BTW, I ran out of gas once, and tipping the bike on its left side really does work. It got me about 3.2 extra miles to a gas station, which I camped behind and filled up at in the morning.
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It is one of the illusions, that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. -Carlyle
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:58 AM   #9
OZYMANDIAS OP
RIP, Clayton...
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 33
Crossing Over

Hi Everyone-
I got to Tucson last night and stayed at a friend's house. I'm going to look for a new rear tire and some other things today, and tomorrow I'll cross over into Mexico at Nogales. If anyone has any advice about where to stay and what to see, I'll be glad to get it. I'm thinking to head south from Nogales until I hit the coast, and then to follow it the whole way. No real plan thus far- just keep moving south to Guatemala. I'm guessing it will take me a while to cross Mexico, because I don't anticipate being able to make the same kind of mileage I have in the US, but time will tell. I saw my first Joshua tree and my first Saguaro yesterday, and many other interesting desert plants. Also, it is hot as hell down here! I feel like I'm riding into a hairdryer half the time. Well, it's time for the real adventure to begin. I'll be in touch. Clayton
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Old 05-23-2006, 10:26 PM   #10
OMGWTF
Wherever I may roam
 
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Kaysville, UT
Oddometer: 111
Ran into Clayton in Panguitch, Utah and here are some pics I took. Man, I was jealous and wanted to quit my job and go with him.







Clayton, I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your own in this thread.



Good luck with the senoritas.

CHEERS!... er, um I mean SALUD!
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R1200GS
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:22 AM   #11
OZYMANDIAS OP
RIP, Clayton...
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 33
Pictures (Finally!)

Hey Y'all-
Okay, I was able to get some of my pictures onto a computer. Now let me see if I can get them up here.
Well so far I'm having problems because it says they are too big to upload, and also wants a URL when I do "Insert Image", and does not let me browse for them. Any advice? How do I do it? I'll keep trying, but if anyone can help in the meantime, I've got to get to Mexico in a few hours! Clayton
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Old 05-19-2006, 06:59 PM   #12
OZYMANDIAS OP
RIP, Clayton...
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 33
Topolobampa

Hey All-
I made it to Topolobampa, Mexico, about 500 miles in. Not a ton of time to write because the internet place is closing in two minutes. I decided Iīm writing a book for sure, assuming I make it, so Iīll keep everyone up on that. More soon. Clayton
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Old 05-19-2006, 07:15 PM   #13
danbrew
GSAdv.com
 
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Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Chicago
Oddometer: 1,035
The intro to your webpage is mucho cool - but too complicated. Folks aren't going to be able to easily get to your moto pages.

Do us all a favor and wear gear, ok? I know I sound like a putz, but we don't wanna hear about you busting your ass 'cause you were wearing shorts & a tshirt cruising around town. You bought it, why not use it?

Good luck!

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Old 05-21-2006, 07:43 PM   #14
OZYMANDIAS OP
RIP, Clayton...
 
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Joined: Feb 2006
Oddometer: 33
Mazatlan

Thanks for caring Danbrew- I've been trying. Yesterday I hooked up with a motorcycle gang (it sounds cooler than "club") and they invited me to ride with them to a little town called San Ignacio. It was a beautiful place. Everyone ate a ton and they got pretty drunk and rowdy. We all stayed in the same hotel and in the morning went for breakfast. The government here is trying to promote tourism to the town because it is generally perceived as dangerous due to the proximity of drug dealers/growers in the nearby mountains, so we were provided with free catered meals. Since we were guarded by police with AK-47's, I take it that the general perception may not be far off. The custom here seems to be to move from meal to meal with little or nothing in between, so we had lunch immediately after breakfast. I then said my goodbyes and headed to Mazatlan, where I am now. It seems like a nice place so far, and I may spend the day here tomorrow to take in the cultural attractions. I'm wondering if my rear shock is adjusted optimally. As it is, I can see the number "1", surrounded by yellow, just to the right of the bolt on the shock. Is this right for me? I'm guessing I should have it adjusted as stiffly as possible, but I'm not sure what's what. I thought I had it before I left, but now I'm wondering. Also, I have a Pirelli MT 21 on the front, and it's wearing really oddly. The nubs in the middle aren't really getting worn much, but the sets of two that they alternate with are getting worn quite a bit, and not uniformly either- one corner toward the cencer, is shearing off of each of them. I don't understand it, but the tire only has about 2500 miles on it. Sorry if my webpage is a bit unusual, but I don't have anything specific to motorcycles on there anyway. It's just my personal page, and remember, I just started riding! Well it's getting near time to go out and check the nightlife, so wish me luck with the Mexican senoritas! Clayton
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:02 AM   #15
RickMcD
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: Oxnard California
Oddometer: 74
KLR 650 Shock Settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OZYMANDIAS
I'm wondering if my rear shock is adjusted optimally. As it is, I can see the number "1", surrounded by yellow, just to the right of the bolt on the shock. Is this right for me? I'm guessing I should have it adjusted as stiffly as possible, but I'm not sure what's what. I thought I had it before I left, but now I'm wondering. Also, I have a Pirelli MT 21 on the front, and it's wearing really oddly. The nubs in the middle aren't really getting worn much, but the sets of two that they alternate with are getting worn quite a bit, and not uniformly either- one corner toward the cencer, is shearing off of each of them. I don't understand it, but the tire only has about 2500 miles on it. Clayton
Clayton, don't know whether you have heard from anyone on this or not but it sounds like you have the "preload" set on the lightest setting (probably OK for unloaded riding) but needs to be some higher for loaded down. The 12mm nut you see changes this setting. Turn it clockwise ONLY. The collar will move down to higher setings until it gets to 5 then it will "snap back" (loudly, and may startle you but is OK). Might try it on three or four to see how it works. Again if you go to far, keep turning clockwise till it snaps back to 1 then go up again. There is also a "rebound" setting on the other side of the shock at the bottom behing a rubber snap on cover. Pull the cover off (from the right side of the bike). Some number of lines indicate the setting. 1 line lowest 4 lines highest. Turn the wheel with a screwdriver (or some such) to the right or toward the front of the bike. Again only go to the right. If you go past the setting you want, keep going till a lower one comes around again. I am loaded for my trip to Alaska and I have the "preload" set on 4 and the "rebound" set on 3. Give it a try. I don't have any thoughts on the tire situation, other than the air pressure may be too low, but maybe someone else will weigh in.
Rick
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